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River Region high school students earn top prizes in AUM poetry competition

Five River Region students have earned top prizes in Auburn University at Montgomery’s (AUM) inaugural high school poetry competition.

The competition, hosted by AUM’s Department of English and Philosophy, is open to students in grades 9-12 who live in the River Region. Student participants were invited to submit poems on the subject “Haunting and Folklore,” which serves as the 2024 theme of AUM’s student-run literary magazine “Common Thread.”

“We received submissions from a number of students across the River Region for the department’s first high school poetry competition,” said Professor of English Joyce Kelley, who organized the poetry contest. “We were very pleased with the quality of the student entries, with our panel of judges selecting five entries as winners. All of these students showed remarkable talent in their writings.”

The 2024 winners of AUM’s high school poetry competition are:

  • First Place: “Cursed” by Jamesyn Williams, 11th grade at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School
  • Second Place: “The House that Granny Built” by Daryl Ramon Thomas Jr., 12th grade at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School
  • Third Place: “An Occasional Dream” by Isabella Pappas, 10th grade at Saint James School
  • Honorable Mention: “Wendigo is Near” by Gracie Niolet, 10th grade at Pike Road High School
  • Honorable Mention: “Evergreen Forest” by Haley Hust, 10th grade at Saint James School

As the first-place winner, Williams will receive a $500 scholarship through AUM’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The scholarship requires the student winner to attend AUM and major in one of the college’s academic programs. The first place winner’s poem is also featured in the print edition of “Common Thread.”

The competition’s second and third place winners and honorable mentions will have their poems published in the online edition of “Common Thread.”

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